Photograph by Paul Davy, for more of his work see the Gallery

Photograph by Paul Davy, for more of his work see the Gallery

issue 05

Rides: The Fred 2002 - The day we all had to get off our bikes and push

Prep: Training Pedalling Cadence. Fast or slow, take your pick.

Kit: Behind Bars - The lowdown on careful installation of ultra light bars and stems.

Rides: Autumn Epic 2008 – Multiple TT champion remembers the day he’d rather forget.  

Rides: Strava - It’s here to stay but is it a blessing or a curse?

News and Updates

Locksit or lose it

Although Sportif is aimed at mass-participation riding we’re aware, following our recent sportive rider survey in February, that over 40% of sportive riders commute on a weekly basis.

For those that commute, wearing a helmet can lead to it awkwardly sitting on a desk or taking up space in a locker all day when it could be waiting patiently, and more importantly securely, with the bike.

I was told a story once by our deputy editor who was involved in a short on-bike film before the 2012 Olympics with former professional rider Rob Hayles, just before filming commenced he popped to the loo leaving his bike and helmet propped up outside, under the now questionable watch of others. Upon returning two minutes later, the bike was still there but amazingly his helmet was nowhere in sight. This would have all been fine except that he now had to film without a helmet, it was early Sunday morning and nowhere was open to replace the pilfered item... This is where Locksit comes in.

To read the full review click here

Gore fits the bill

Gore Xenon Lady Shorts & Jersey, Gore Xenon Gloves

Cycling isn't cheap, not like running where you can get a pair of trainers for a few quid on ebay and then dig out a pair of shorts and a t-shirt and you're away. I'm not suggesting running can't get expensive, I have previously been sucked into compression wear (literally) and fancy trainers, but that is more choice than necessity.

With cycling, getting the right bike and the right kit is paramount to your enjoyment of the sport.

As a woman, the choice of gender specific cycling kit has expanded massively in the last couple of years. However, as a woman who is shaped like a woman, the choice of cycling kit that isn't just made for the whippety ladies out there seems to be less readily available. Finding kit that looks as stylish as a pro's cyclewear is even rarer.

As a bit of an experiment, I blindly requested from Gore their Xenon 2.0 Lady Jersey and Shorts in a size medium along with the Xenon 2.0 mitts in a small, the experiment part of it being that I didn't read the size guide beforehand.

As much as I'd like to be what is classed as an XS, I'm really not and I never will be no matter how much I ride thanks to some pesky hip bones, I am firmly a medium. So was very pleasantly surprised when the Gore kit arrived and it fit perfectly, and the mitt gloves fit, well, like a glove.

To read the full review click here

Buff TdF Evry

How on earth do you go about writing a review for Buff Headwear? After all, it's a rather expensive tube of lycra right? Wrong! If you're not already familiar with the technicalities and uses of a Buff then you're missing a trick. It really is one of those things cyclists should always carry or wear – indeed you might have spotted a Buff or two in the pro peloton on very hot or cold days. Let's explain:

Firstly, a Buff Multifunctional Headwear, to use the correct and full name, is made from a 100 percent polyester microfibre, which is wind-resistant, breathable and wicks moisture. Microfibre denier is finer than silk which helps with the wicking of perspiration in hot conditions. In cold conditions the fine material also has tremendous thermal properties too – rather like silk but more so. The other consideration about the Buff brand itself is that they regularly release some of the some of the most contemporary and innovative print designs too; enter the 2015 Tour de France commemorative Buff.

Buff is a Spanish company with most of their production taking place within the EU, just outside Barcelona in fact. Fittingly, this particular Buff was on test in March in Spain at the foot of the famous Velefique climb sometimes used in the Vuelta Espania. Read the full review here


Light as a feather, Wind-Blox claim to block out a massive 80% of wind noise and chill that a cyclist experiences. As all of us cyclists are aware that wind can be really quite loud, and if you add traffic to the equation it is a major distraction which could potentially be dangerous.

This nifty safety accessory is fairly simple in its design but very effective in its performance. The Wind-Blox were quick and easy to attach to a helmet. All it required was some careful alignment on the front helmet straps ensuring the blocks were on the right way...

Read the full review here

And the winner is...

Chris, from Berkhamsted, completed our Sportive Rider survey back in February and won a Kinesis T2 worth £999 - not a bad use of a few minutes of his time we don't think! 

Chris is a founding member of Berkhamsted Cycling Club which was formed in August 2014 and already has 150 members - BCC's home is Lovelo Cycle Works in Berkhamsted.

The Kinesis T2 was well reviewed by Sportif back in Issue 04, which can be read here.

The T2 feels fast and responsive, thanks in part to its impressively low weight. 19.6lb for a sub-£1K bike with mudguards is good going

Chris got in touch to let us know he'd taken the T2 out and was very impressed with his new ride, much as we were. Sportif will check back in with Chris to see how he gets on as he clocks the miles up.

Sportif survey results made commercially available

Sportif magazine has released a data-rich survey of sportive riders in the UK. The 2015 Rider Survey reveals that three-quarters of sportive riders are likely to be sniffing out a new bike purchase soon, even though it's likely many already own three bikes each. The survey also reveals that 46 percent of women sportive riders rode abroad in the last 12 months, which is a percentage point higher than men. 

The survey was conducted in February and includes data from 740 sportive riders, who provided nearly 42,000 pieces of data.

Sportif magazine has released a data-rich survey of sportive riders in the UK. The 2015 Rider Survey reveals that three-quarters of sportive riders are likely to be sniffing out a new bike purchase soon, even though it's likely many already own three bikes each. The survey also reveals that 46 percent of women sportive riders rode abroad in the last 12 months, which is a percentage point higher than men... Read the full article on Bike Biz here

If you would to discuss obtaining the survey results and/or raw data please contact us here

Torus Ti Road Winter Sport - Long Termer

Back in September we were mightily impressed with the Road Winter Sport from Torus Bicycles, a partnership between Burls and Clee Cycles. So much so that we secured a bike for long term testing in February of this year.

Gone are the mudguards but the spec is exactly the same as tested in Issue 2 with full Shimano 105, Mavic Ksyrium wheel set and KCNC finishing kit, retailing at £1800.

Read the full review here

Vee Tires Apache 25mm

At any price point you want four things from a tyre; grip, feedback, comfort and durability. Striking the balance of those four things across a broad range of conditions and temperatures is an exceptionally difficult task for any manufacturer and the Apache is a good illustration of just that.

Vee Tire are new to the UK market and better known for their MTB tyres, but the Apache is the performance road offering from the US company.

Read the full review here

Strava unveils Photo Sharing, 'My Recent Efforts' and Improved Leaderboards

Strava has updated its mobile app to connect, motivate and hopefully inspire athletes.

The updated app includes new, innovative and improved features designed exclusively for mobile devices:

Strava Photos - Athletes can now attach photos to their activities directly from their mobile camera app or photo album. 10 million photos have already been shared using Instagram on Strava and so the new Strava Photos feature will open this up to anyone without an Instagram account and indeed those with who wish to make the process more seamless.

My Recent Efforts - This features allows cyclists and runners to analyse and compare past segment performance directly from a mobile device.

Improved Leaderboards - The mobile leaderboards have been redesigned to give athletes easier access to segment rankings among the athletes they follow, their Clubs and the entire Strava community. Strava Premium athletes can now also access personalised leaderboards from their mobile devices, allowing quick comparisons to other Strava athletes of the same weight or age.

Fi'z:k R5B Uomo



"Look after your hands, your feet and your backside" was a piece of clubby advice that was handed down all over the nation to thousands of keen young schoolboy riders taking their first steps into the unknown, and good advice it was too... 

Read the full review here

Want to be a World Champion?

Check out the promotional film for the UCI World Cycling Tour and get a taste of real Gran Fondo action.

The UCI World Cycling Tour (UWCT) is a series of UCI-sanctioned races held all over the world. 

There are 15 qualifying events from which the top 25% in each age group, in each event, go on to contest the Amateur Road World Championships and the UCI Masters Road World Championships.

And yes... You can become the UCI World Champion and get to wear a rainbow jersey!

In most cases, riders can start a qualifying event without a licence from their federation, however if you're good enough to make it to the World Championships you'll need a national licence. 

The UWCT is part of the 'Cycling for All' series and awards World Championships at amateur level in both road racing and time-trial.

So what are you waiting for?

Tour of Cambridgeshire Press Launch

June's inaugural Tour of Cambridgeshire is a turning point in the British sportive scene. It's not revolutionary in its route planning. It's not groundbreaking in its choice of venues. What marks out the Tour of Cambridgeshire as significant is that for the first time in the UK there is an event that has succeeded in crossing the Rubicon to become a true continental style Gran Fondo with closed roads and a substantial prize list. Yes that's right, a prize list. This is a race. 

It has been aspired to before, most notably with Lou Lusardi's Dragon Ride in Wales, which, true to Lusardi's Italian heritage has always positioned itself firmly in the Gran Fondo camp, but it's a mark of just how big the legacy from the Tour de France is that Cambridgeshire has secured closed roads and a racing brief.

Last week Sportif Magazine was invited to look over some of the features of the event on a bright, chilly March morning alongside other members of the UK cycling press, event partner Sue Ryder Hospice Peterborough and in the company of the visiting UCI World Cycling Tour Head of Event Management, Erwin Vervecken.

If your image of a Gran Fondo is hours of climbing, jersey open to the waist in the Alps think again. The Tour of Cambridgeshire will be one for those whose favoured terrain is West Flanders or the Netherlands. The enemy in June won't be gradient it will be the wind rolling across the fens from the North Sea.

It will be a full weekend of action with a UCI sanctioned Time Trial on the Saturday, starting and finishing at the Arena in Peterborough Showground, an excellent venue logistically which serves for both days and with up to 20,000 vehicle spaces along wide open, wide entry and exit roads for riders in the opening or final 5km.

700 will compete on the Saturday on what is basically a flat and fast course, the 2 short climbs will hardly trouble riders at full tilt.  

On the Sunday the Gran Fondo takes place on fully closed roads and starts at the unusually late time of midday. This is a full Euro style Fondo and so UCI gridding rules apply. All will start together and unless you've ridden events such as these on the continent riding in a bunch this big is going to be a challenge. This is a race after all, so once the gun fires the fast men and women at the front will be long gone.

If your eyes aren't on the prize list, and getting around is the priority, official partner Sue Ryder Hospice will be on hand to support the many thousands that the organisers hope will use their ride to raise money for the expansion of the charity's facility in Peterborough.     

If the weather is balmy there are few more pleasant places to be on a bicycle than the fens with big skies above you and the company of thousands of like-minded people, but if the weather puts up a fight it will be one of the definitive rides of the season for the sheer grit you'll need to complete the 132km course.

Sportif takes pride of place in BikeBiz March 2015

We all know there are dozens of cycling titles available these days, however we are very proud to have made the front cover of influential industry title BikeBiz this March.

In an in-depth examination of many of the current titles on the market Sportif is happy to have been the only free printed title!

pOcpac to start distributing Sportif 

pOcpac is the brainchild of two mountain-biking brothers, originating from South Africa, and have been available in the UK since 2012. In the first year over 10,000 pOcpacs were bought by cyclists up and down the country, and pOcpac have since launched the third generation of products that incorporates the feedback of cyclists and stockists alike.

If you spend over £10 pOcpac UK will send a free copy of Sportif along with your order!

Keep your eyes peeled on their website and Twitter account @thepOcpacUK 


WeGoDo provides Sportif Magazine readers access to their innovative new app 

wegodo sportif magazine QR.png

WeGoDo is an app that helps you pursue your favourite interests with people nearby, it covers road cycling, mountain biking, hiking, skiing, snowboarding and a host of other activities and gives you the opportunity to get involved with the local community who have similar interests to you.

The app is completely free and can be accessed either by scanning the QR code to the right or by clicking on the link below:

upcoming sportives


New Shop Stockists for Issue 06:

Cycle Surgery @ Snow + Rock in Leeds

Specialized Covent Garden

Total Fitness Bath

@the Hub in Swindon

Pave Velo in St. Austell

Griff's Cycle Lab in Crowthorne

Oakwell Cycles in Birstall

Sanctuary Bikes in Houghton le Spring

Mud Sweat 'n' Gears in Weymouth and Dorchester

Hardie Bikes in Cairneyhill

Mountain Trax in Wokingham

Ed's Bike Shop in Whiteley

Gateway Cycles in Abergavenny

Balhaven Bikes in Dunbar

Oakwell Cycles in Birstall

2 Wheels Better in Nottingham

Pelican Cycles

SDJ Sports in Sawtry

Paul Hewitt Cycles in Leyland

Townsends Light Blue Cycle Centre in Cambridge

Primo Cycles in Cambridge

Bikes n Boards in Devizes

Cycles Scuderia in Bideford

Alice Holt Cycle Centre in Farnham

Kinetic Cycles in Welwyn Garden City

Kinetic Cycles in Hitchin

Cycle Scene in Cork City

Revel Outdoors in Bury St Edmunds

Ben Hayward Cycles in Horningsea